In the world of wrestling, there’s a phrase for it: “Face-Heel Turn.”  It describes the moment when a fan-favorite (face) character suddenly changes his or her alignment to become a villain (heel) character, with appropriate villain behavior.  Even though many superheroes were once villains, it’s far more rare to find a hero who turns bad and stays that way.  Even with all the “Dark Whomever” storylines we’ve seen since the Bronze Age, Bishop’s on-again/off-again status as de facto bad guy in X-Men is one of the only recent examples that works, but it’s easy to come up with a host of really BAD examples of how NOT to make the concept work.  (Hashtage Dark Mary Marvel.)  Still, it’s fun to play “What If,” and I’d love to see a full-on villainous heel turn, with Ninja Turtle Raphael topping my list of potential candidates.  I also firmly believe that Barry Allen has the makings of a villain, if done correctly, leading to today’s nefarious query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is cool but crude, but also, strangely, a party dude, asking:  Which noble hero do you feel truly has the makings of a villain?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

4 Comments

  1. noble heroes….hm. it’s easy to cite a character already on the edge who could very easily and permanently apply their powers or skills to evil, like a Frank Castle, Bruce Wayne, Professor X, etc.

    if he counts as a superhero, i feel like James T. Kirk would make an interesting switch to (at the very least) an antihero, Han Solo-type. swashbuckly, reckless, pompous, doesn’t take orders….i don’t know exactly how noble a character he is though.

  2. I’m not usually one to go to Batman, as the Dark Knight has been overexposed in my opinion and his stories feel played out to me.

    That said, a brief google search tells me he’s been a villain a few times in alternate continuities or under the influence of someone or something, but I don’t know if they’ve ever done a Batman story where he truly does have a villain turn.

    He has the darkness in him to do it, just needs the right motivation. I’d love to see a story where his desire to make Gotham safe leads him down a path where he eventually loses his way.

    I’m not a huge comic reader, though – I tend to enjoy superheroes through their outings in other media – so if they’ve done a story like that, I guess I’m back to the drawing board.

  3. Malone_hasco on

    Daredevil. I really like Daredevil, but his morals rely on that United States judicial system and catholic religion are right and have superior morals. His actions are based on those two guidelines. Yes, he constantly challenges those principles, which is good but if played straight, following corrupt authoritarian laws is very much villainous in my eyes. Daredevil got potential to be one of those guys and that’s why he’s an interesting character.

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